1956 Chevrolet Corvettes
The top brass at GM upped the ante for the 1956 Corvette. For the first time, a Vette could be ordered with a racing package of options that made the car truly fun to drive. With a smaller footprint and a sexy body unabashedly influenced by European aesthetics, the V8 powered ’56 Corvette, with a three-speed manual on the floor, put the Corvette brand firmly in the upper tier of the world’s sports cars. It was quick, handled much better than its longer wheel-based predecessors, and was raced nationally by pros and amateurs alike. Thus, the brand’s foundation as America’s Only True Sports Car was laid.
Chevrolet built 3,467 1956 Corvette roadsters, in six color schemes: Onyx Black/red interior; Aztec Copper/beige; Cascade Green/beige; Arctic Blue/beige-red; Venetian Red/red; and Polo White/red. Wheels were painted black, copper, green, blue and red, respectively. Beige or white soft tops were fitted on all examples. For the ’56 Vettes, engine bays were fitted with one of three V8s: 210 hp 1×4 carb; 225 hp 2×4 carbs; or 240 hp 2×4 carbs with high-lift camshaft (Duntov Cam) in the racing set-up engine. With a base price of $3,120 for a 210 hp car with three-speed floor-mounted stick shifted manual transmission, other options were as in previous models, with the addition of the venerable two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, auxiliary hardtop, power windows, power soft top, two-tone paint (contrasting coves) and 3.27 rear axle.